COVID-19: Minister calls on engineers to take precautions

30Mar 2020
The Guardian
COVID-19: Minister calls on engineers to take precautions

MINISTER for Energy Dr Medard Kalemani has called upon engineers implementing rural electrification projects to take precautions against Coronavirus as they implement the programme.

Dr Kalemani made the remarks recently when he switched on solar electricity at Bwina health centre in Chato district, Geita region calling upon residents to be careful and consider all the COVID-19 preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.

Dr Kalemani said the Coronavirus outbreak should not derail efforts to carry out the rural electrification projects because authorities had issued directives on what should be done.

“We should protect ourselves from being infected with the disease, the task to supply electricity to rural areas should continue at the same pace, the main and important thing is for you to take precautions as directed,” he said.

Speaking after switching on the lights at the institution, Kalemani said the aim was to intensify security for the residents.

The minister called upon wananchi to take care of the infrastructures so that they last longer.

During the tour, minister Kalemani called upon residents to follow the directives from the health ministry on how to protect themselves from the pandemic.

The minister said up to now 91,000 villages had been supplied with electricity in the last four years, saying this was a good gesture towards building an industrialised economy.

He said, however that there are 1822 villages which had not been reached, adding that the process to take electricity to the remaining villages will start this June, this year whereby it is expected to be reached by 2021 .

In 2016 REA announced the beginning of implementation of the Rural Electrification Program Phase III, a project that aims to electrify more than 7,873 villages in rural Tanzania for 5 years. 7,697 villages will be connected to the national grid, while the remaining 176 will be connected to other energy sources.

The project is implemented by private contractors and supervised by REA, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) and a Trust Agent

As of June 2016, 4,395 villages in Tanzania were connected to electricity during Phase I and II of the project